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Going from 32-bit to 64-bit

Last response: in Windows 7
May 9, 2012 4:40:04 PM

I built my PC about a year ago, and put a 32-bit version of Windows 7 on it, unaware of the RAM cap this put on it.
I'd like to switch to a 64-bit version (either 7 or 8 when it comes out) and want to make sure that the 400-ish GB of files and games I have won't be rendered irretrievable.

I've recently cloned my 500GB drive to a 1TB HDD, and I expect that a clean install of Windows will wipe out the C: Drive. Is my new F: Drive at risk of losing everything from a clean windows install? Is cloning the best way to back up my massive files, or should I Ctrl+C/V things that I would deem crucial?
I keep stumbling something about Dual-boot for moving from 32 to 64 bit OSs. Can someone explain that route as well?

More about : bit bit

a b $ Windows 7
May 9, 2012 4:47:15 PM

i have not seen 400~gb files
you should back up your pwersonal files such as music, pictures
games and applications will have to be re installed
when installing windows make sure to select the correct drive, your f drive will be un touched
May 9, 2012 4:48:57 PM

Unplug your F drive from the system before you do the upgrade, plug it back in afterwards. Then you will still have all your data and there will be zero chance of mucking it up during the install.

Everything on the OS partition will be lost during the 64-bit install and will need to be backed up prior to the install.
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May 9, 2012 4:57:21 PM

po1nted nailed it. Just make sure the drive doesn't exist and it can't be touched. And as he stated you will need to format the drive and install fresh since there is no true "upgrade path" for just going 32 to 64bit.
May 9, 2012 5:30:08 PM

I think Alvine nailed it. Back up your FILES (ie photos, music, movies, docs, pdfs, whatever the like) and you can copy these from drive to drive. Programs and applications such as games, photo editors, ms office,... if these are still compatible with the new OS they will most likely have to be reinstalled.